Hawaii football coach June Jones came home with more than a victory when his Warriors played at Southern Methodist 11 days ago.
Jones has vision of
By Dave Reardon
He also brought back a mental snapshot of his dream stadium.
Jones was so impressed with the 32,000-seat Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the SMU campus that right after the game he called UH president Evan Dobelle, who was in Japan, to tell him about it.
"I told him the stadium they have is perfect for what we want," Jones said. "It would be awesome if we had one like that right here on campus. I suggested that he come take a look at it."
UH has played its games at Aloha Stadium the past 25 years. The 50,000-seat facility is about 15 miles away from the Manoa campus and will need major renovations soon.
Dobelle has proposed building a 75,000-seat stadium in West Oahu, but said Saturday he is open to the idea of a smaller on-campus venue for football.
"It seems obvious that somewhere in the near future, although it can't be my highest priority at the university, we need to either refurbish Aloha or build a new stadium," Dobelle said.
Ford Stadium was built in less than three years at a cost of $60 million, including an adjacent complex of training and locker rooms, offices and meeting rooms. The stadium can be expanded to seat 45,000.
"I think that stadium they have would fit right here where we're standing, so hopefully that will happen," Jones said yesterday after practice at the UH practice field.
Chang gets the reps: Sophomore quarterback Tim Chang is officially the starter again, as he took the first-team repetitions in practice yesterday. He will start at Tulsa on Saturday.
Chang's sprained right (throwing) wrist is no longer affecting his passing. But Chang said he has no plans on bracing any more falls with it.
Hunter wants in the hunt: Sophomore defensive end Wayne Hunter returned to practice yesterday after missing two games. He said he is still bothered by lower back pain, but the virus he had is gone.
He's mostly bothered now by an itch -- to get in a game.
"You watch those two games, Saturday and the SMU game from the side, you just want to jump on the field with no pads, whatever, just try and do something instead of feel helpless on the side."
Fruitful meeting: UH coaches and players credited a team meeting Friday night as having a big impact on Saturday's game.
Players and staff were asked to share with each other why they love football, and why they choose to play or work for the University of Hawaii.
"You wish every team you ever played on could have that kind of camaraderie, that bond where people lay it on the line for everyone else to hear," quarterback Tim Chang said.
Said defensive line coach Vantz Singletary: "I hope June calls more of those Friday night all-out meetings, where everyone can share what they want to share. That was very good for us."
Rhode doubles up: Freshman quarterback Jeff Rhode spends his early mornings running the football scout team, the middle of the days in class, and his afternoons getting ready for baseball.
"I've been working with the pitching coach (Chad Konishi)," he said. "Right now I'm just doing some long-toss. Next week I'll probably get on the mound."
Travel plans: The Warriors leave tomorrow night and arrive in Tulsa on Thursday morning.
They are scheduled to return Sunday at 12:15 p.m. on Continental flight 75 from Los Angeles.
Short yardage: Tulsa linebacker Michael Dulaney moved ahead of Hawaii linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa in tackles per game. Dulaney leads the WAC with 10.8 and Tinoisamoa is tied for second with UH linebacker Chris Brown and Louisiana Tech defensive back Bobby Gray at 9.8. ... After Saturday's 66-7 victory over Texas-El Paso, UH leads the conference in scoring offense (35.6) and is tied with Rice for first in scoring defense (21.0).